When many of our favorite fish are out of season in Southeast Florida, spiny lobsters, also known as bugs, are a good choice to hunt in March before the season closes on April 1st.
Lobsters are most commonly caught using tail loopers or tickle sticks and nets. They can be taken by hand, but you have to be quick and experienced. The bag limit is six bugs per harvester per day. Undersize lobsters with a carapace not greater than three inches and egg bearing females are off limits. They must be measured in the water and returned to the reef if they are too small. My photo shows tough gloves, looper snare and a catch bag with a stainless steel lobster gauge attached. Keep your eyes open to avoid a painful encounter with spiny urchins, lionfish and moray eels. Divers are required to have a saltwater fishing license and lobster permit in order to hunt spiny lobsters. Before you go, be sure to check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s website at www.myfwc.com for great graphics and more information.
Capt. Chad Carney